Work-Life Balance from the Inside Out

Jul 28, 2021

Balanced living comes from within. So, let’s focus on the whole person: body, soul, mind, and spirit. Using the acronym C.L.E.A.N. helps me stay in balance by remembering I am more than what I do, and for our journey together today, I hope it will help you remember that too.  

Our character, lifestyle, exercise, attitude, and nutrition are how we fuel our lives and the choices that lead to balance. Our inner life, our values, our movement, our thoughts, and our food all play a role in living within the balance of work and life.

I am a very busy Health Advisor, and I find that the majority of my engaged participants do not feel like they live in balance in many areas of their lives so they enjoy our discussions around their total health. I will put myself square in the middle of this crowd of hard-working Americans that are doing the best we can to live a giving life, open to the needs of others all while trying to find the time to “do it all” and do it well!  

We love what we do so we are always trying to "keep up" with the workload or the perceived workload. We are very, very responsible individuals and we love our company, our job, and our teams, and we love being productive. We rarely (if ever) really complain about the load, and if anything, we want to carry it better, faster, farther. Without asking for help if possible, we do these things while not dropping the other things that make the work we do work for our lives as well!

We are loyal, faithful, caring people who desperately do not want to "let anyone down.” We get up earlier, work later, skip lunch, miss workouts, and experience sleepless nights thinking about the list of things we need get done.  We keep up to a point, but we do so, we have to let some valuable things go. And to do that we feel guilty and ashamed for not being able to fit family, children, and spouse, let alone personal time in our lives in a meaningful way.  

All that, and we often do not see how productive and valuable we really are! So we always wonder add an if: if we just work harder … then x, y, z will happen. We don’t celebrate the things we DO finish, because when one thing gets done, two more projects that take its place and are due now!

Seeking Balance

We all seek balance—it is a hot topic indeed—but often feel that we have "no time" to really take care of ourselves, so we take care of everyone and everything else and often suffer the consequences due to the expectations we place on our performance and/or the expectations of others, whether real or imagined!  

We are seeking balance, for sure, but we can’t see how it can happen and that leads to stress at work, at home, in marriage, and personal health and wellness.  What do we do? Let’s take a look. If we focus on external things to find balance, it may be temporary, but still meaningful.  We are not machines. (Though we feel like it at times.) 

We use practical, "creative" ways to incorporate more life, movement, attitude, and food as ways to "fuel us" so that they leave our 20 minutes with something I (secretly) call HopeWork. We use your personal Wellness Vision and the sentences from it to set our goals, and an action step that builds internal HOPE as you move out of our time together and back to the desk and the waiting workload.  

Our time is short, so I never want you to feel stressed or that we are adding to your to-do list, so we do what we can together to move forward with positive expectation and behavior modification fueled by the strength that comes from our inner life.  

When we feel "stuck" is when burn-out is more likely in the not-too-distant future. We need to feel progress–forward movement. It's like how I can pass my finger through a flame, but if I keep it in the flame, I will get burned.  

Living Well From the Inside Out

It's important that we live well from the inside out. I started with the premise that balance comes from within—the centered self—where you are the star of your own life. Being healthy, well, and balanced comes from within. So, it is really up to you.

Remember, if we are not healthy inside, the saying "hurting people hurt people" is all too real. The people around us feel the pain. Likely it's not intentional, but it's still a real thing, and a very important topic for mental/emotional health. Our inner life is where we truly live. Until we feel centered and balanced on the inside, we will feel off-balance and out of balance everywhere else.  

So, stop for a moment and think of the people who matter to you. Picture your child’s smiling face, hear your best friend’s laugh, or feel the comfort of a loved one’s reassuring hug. They make life worth living and finding balance to support both home and work. Research shows that close relationships are one of the most important aspects of a happy life. Building strong connections and keeping them strong gives strength to all parties. Yet, another great reason to nurture our relationships with others.

Reach for Positivity

My positive psychology work found a simple way and one that is often overlooked.

Notice and appreciate the gifts and strengths of others. Look for kindness, acknowledge teamwork, and recognize forgiveness. The opportunities to connect around these character strengths are endless, and they are more appreciated than a “job” well done or simply pointing out “great call” or something related to what we DO. When someone points out strengths in our character, and who we ARE, we glow for days, and our performance level increases along with self-esteem and confidence. It improves and encourages us internally to not just DO better, but BE better, and we can all “be better.”

When you think of those who matter to you, what strengths do they embody? Look for their strengths each time you are with them, and you will grow to love them even more.

Explore ways you can integrate strengths-spotting into your life to boost relationships with those you don’t know yet, or don’t know well. Discover this research-backed, easy-to-use strategy in your own life. Focus on the good. Look for character strengths.

Look Inward

I am a Type-A overachiever, and most people see it as admirable, but that drive can be unhealthy and very often present an unbalanced individual seeking to stay upright. I live with the tension of it and manage well if you see me at face value, but I am just as unbalanced as anyone else, and I'm constantly learning new ways to manage and find balance in my own life. No one can do that for us—we are more culpable than we think. I work on my inner health regularly, which is why I love what I do.  

I love providing happy, positive, inspiring, motivating, strengthening, life-giving support to my participants. As a health advisor, I offer a place to ask questions, be real, feel feelings, and “talk turkey” in a safe, non-judgmental, confidential session between two humans. 

Life can be hard, even without all of the pandemic-driven pivoting, quarantines, home offices, and dining room schools.  We all need to open up the vault of locked up feelings. We need time to share ideas, challenges, and block out space in our day to just breathe. Health Advisors don’t have all the answers, but we are good listeners and can help you find insights into your life challenges.

And most of all ... we care. #TheLoveProject

Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!

– Stephanie Wolfe, NBC-HWC

Health Advisor | Email Stephanie

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